I did not have my regular clinic today. I was in Ottumwa yesterday as part of a mini-medical school bringing the knowledge of melanoma and cancer to the public. We were supposed to go to Creston this morning but that was cancelled so I had a day to play catch up. I went to work in jeans, sat in front my computer and began checking the usual things, my inboxes in the electronic medical record and my email. Our emails are plagued with spam, despite all the mechanisms that we have in place to stop what we do not want to come to our emails, we are bombarded with unwanted things. I spend more time deleting emails than I do reading them.
Cancer finds ways to prevent itself from being deleted. We have so many mechanisms in our bodies that act to prevent cancer from forming. Despite these, cancer manages to trick the system into accepting it as part of the body. Like Spam, cancer is real and disrupts the organized tissue that is trying to maintain how cells behave in a tight environment. As I was deleting what I felt unneeded I remembered that our body goes through a similar daily process of removing cells that have a tendency to cancerous formation and this is an active ongoing process. It requires energy. I humanized the feeling that this is tiring, annoying and maybe the body as myself becomes lazy or just bored with getting rid of all this. I thought out loud, how can I minimize this with less effort from myself!
Perhaps instead of attacking a cancer that has established itself, one should work on enhancing the mechanisms that remove cancer formation from the very beginning. This would be like redirecting spam away from my viable inbox and save me from deleting them myself. Research in understanding these mechanisms are difficult but we are making exciting progress in immunotherapy. I reflected on the talk I gave to the audience that listened. Fascinated that I talked to ages that spanned 12 years to 80. Their questions penetrating and deep, catching me off guard. It was refreshing to know what they needed to know, what myths to dispel, and what unneeded information to block. It was an active interaction. My knowledge helped them remove spam from theirs and fortified a more secure picture of what cancer really is.